Guess what's Green and loved all over!!!!!
Nothing screams spring (its not officially spring in Chicago but I want it to be) like a huge pile of green Tabbouli salad. Contrary to what we see at delis across the country (a heavy in bulgur salad) Tabbouli is actually a parsley loaded salad with fresh scallions, tomatoes, mint, and fine bulgur and I love a little cucumbers in there. The proportions of each ingredient vary from home to home, country to country, but the base of ingredients is essential and could be the cause of a controversial discussion lol trust me i have witnessed more than a few. I even believe their is Tabbouli police somewhere out there lol. People take so much pride on how fine they chop their ingredients, and how high they pile their Tabbouli. My brother in law Kamal makes the best Tabbouli in the whole world. For my baby sisters wedding shower he chopped over 45 bunches of parsley alone, in my book he earned the Tabbouli crown.
Salads in the Arab world are always on the table, served alongside meals, party of mezze spread or as a side dish. Except Tabbouli, the salad that could be served completely on its own with some crunchy tender lettuce leaves. Growing up Tabbouli was a crowd gatherer, you make Tabbouli when you want people to show up or never leave. It has the magical power of hosting a party all on its own. This green goddess salad has the freshest of flavors from the herbs and the lemony olive oil dressing. Chicago greenest weekend (Saint Patrick's Day) is cancelled due to the current pandemic. So I am making this green salad and praying for people all over the world to stay healthy and safe.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of two lemons about 1/4 a cup
1 tsp dried mint (optional)
Salt to taste
1/4 cup fine bulgur wheat (sometimes called #1 )
2 bunches Italian parsley washed thoroughly dried
2 firm tomatoes seeds removed
2-3 stalks of scallions
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves optional
1/2 an English cucumber finely minced or two small Persian cucumbers
In a small jar combine olive oil and lemon juice, salt and dried mint and shake well until it’s all incorporated.
Wash your bulgur, then let it sit covered in cold water until it is soft and hydrated, about 15-30 minutes. Strain your bulgur and make sure you squeeze out any excess water. make sure your water is cold otherwise hot water will cook your bulgur and makes t mushy not what we are looking for.
Parsley prep: *see note Wash and dry the parsley and mint thoroughly . Remove the stems, and finely chop the herbs with a sharp knife a dull knife will bruise your herbs and will make the salad soggy.
Cut the cucumber in half. Slice it lengthwise into thirds, then finely chop as small as possible
Finely chop the onions (both green and white part).
Finely chop the tomatoes and add them to the cucumber, onions, parsley, and mint.
Add all the veggies and herbs to a large mixing bowl. Add the bulgur then add the dressing and toss to combine.
Serve yourTabbouli immediately after you add the dressing (otherwise it gets soggy)
Serve your Tabbouli with hearts of tender romaine lettuce. The small leaves of lettuce are usually used to scoop theTabbouli .
You can assemble all your veggies a few hours in advance and leave in a bowl in the fridge separately without the dressing.
Since Tabbouli is mainly parsley its important to follow these tips to ensure you have a perfect salad everytime.
1. Wash your parsley in a tub of cold water a few times to get rid of any dirt. Then shake it off gently to get rid of the water. lay your parlsey on a clean kitchen towel to help dry it. A salad spinner works great here too.
2. The parsley must be completely dry before chopping it otherwise it will get bruised making your salad a soggy mess. So we highly recommend washing and drying the parsley a day or two days in advance and leave it in the fridge wrapped In paper towels to absorb any moisture.
3. Finely chop the herbs with a sharp knife a dull knife will bruise your herbs and will make the salad soggy.